WISCONSIN NEWS ROUNDUP: Winter is here in northern Wisconsin
It's beginning to feel like winter in far northern Wisconsin, where temperatures dropped into the teens overnight. Rhinelander had a wind-chill factor of eight-above at seven o'clock, with an actual reading of 17. Hayward was the state's cold spot with 15. La Crosse was the only Wisconsin reporting station that was above freezing, at 33. The National Weather Service said a cold front went through the Great Lakes region yesterday, ending the rain-and-snow from earlier this week and replacing mild southerly breezes with cold air from the northwest. Places that were in the 50's on Monday were in the 30's yesterday afternoon. Parts of the north had up to five-inches of snow, while southwest Wisconsin got waterlogged with up to an-inch-and-a-half of rain. It's dry this morning but a new low-pressure system is moving in, giving us another chance of scattered sprinkles and light rain and-or snow this afternoon and again tomorrow. A slight warm-up is expected tomorrow, with highs in the 40's statewide at least into Veterans Day on Monday.
A southern Wisconsin man has pleaded insanity to the killing of a co-worker at a Subway restaurant in Portage. 19-year-old Jordan Scott of Rio pleaded both innocent and innocent-by-insanity this week, to a September fifth incident at the restaurant's parking lot. 22-year-old David Johnson of rural Pardeeville was shot-to-death. Scott is charged in Columbia County with first-degree intentional homicide. At a preliminary hearing, Scott's attorney said his client talked about being depressed and suicidal -- and he might have multiple personalities or schizophrenia. Visiting judge Brian Pfitzinger ordered a mental evaluation for Scott. Future proceedings could be scheduled at a pre-trial conference in the case that's scheduled for tomorrow. For now, Scott remains in jail under a one-million-dollar bond.
Steel fabricating plants in Wausau and Eau Claire are now owned by a firm from out East. Atlas Holdings, an industrial holding company in Greenwich, Connecticut, has acquired P-D-M Bridge. It will become a part of Veritas Steel, which is based in Chicago. That firm will operate steel fabricating plants in Palatka Florida as well as in Wausau and Eau Claire. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Atlas said it would allow Veritas to compete for more complex bridge projects, and create greater efficiencies. All employees of the acquired plants have been offered jobs under the new ownership.
Waukesha County sheriff's deputies are asking for people's help in searching for a 15-year-old girl missing since Tuesday. Kathryn Stalbaum of the town of Genesee is a freshman at Kettle Moraine High School. Deputies said she missed her bus to school Tuesday morning, and she later texted a friend to say she would ride her bike to school. She never showed up there.
A 19-year-old construction worker had surgery yesterday, after he fell 45-feet from a bridge project on Interstate-90 just north of La Crosse. The man has worked for Ames Construction for about six months. Authorities said he was installing concrete forms on the Dresbach Bridge at the Minnesota-Wisconsin border, when he fell into a coffer-dam on a support pier. It's a temporary enclosure that helps expose the bottom of the Mississippi River to allow for the pier's construction. He was wearing a harness when rescuers got to him and placed him on a boat while helped take him to a La Crosse hospital. Media reports said the man's father was also working on the bridge project. Minnesota's D-O-T was handling the project, and the Gopher State's job safety agency will investigate the matter. Officials say it could take six months to complete the investigation, and determine if any safety violations led to the incident. Officials of both Ames Construction and government agencies said they worked in advance on a safety-and-emergency response plan for the bridge work. The new structure is due to open in 2016.
The boyfriend of missing Milwaukeean Kelly Dwyer posted a quarter-million dollar bond yesterday. Kris Zocco went free while he awaits more court action on almost two dozen criminal charges. The 38-year-old Zocco was arrested twice on unrelated matters, after he was reportedly the last person to see Dwyer before she vanished on October 10th. Prosecutors call him a person-of-interest in the disappearance, but he has not been arrested in that matter. Zocco pleaded innocent this week to 17 felony counts of possessing child pornography. That was after he was charged with five drug counts, including the maintaining of a drug house. Trial dates are expected to be set in both cases during scheduling conferences over the next month. Police continue to comb a landfill to look for clues in the disappearance of the 27-year-old Dwyer.
A Rock County man who's a possible suspect in the death of a Fitchburg woman reportedly met her when she answered his Internet ad for sex. That's according to search warrant affidavit obtained by WISC T-V in Madison. The document said the 29-year-old man apparently burned Aprina Paul's body in a pit at his home near Evansville, two days after he met her. Authorities call the man a person-of-interest in the death of the 19-year-old Paul. He was arrested for allegedly violating a previous probation. Paul's family said they last saw her October 27th when she left their home with a man they didn't know. The Janesville Gazette cited search warrant documents stating that he took Paul to their house, where they had sex and smoked marijuana together. The paper said the man woke up the next day and found Paul dead in his bed -- and he tried reviving her but could not do so. He then reportedly hid her body in a blanket outside his garage, burned her purse and clothing, threw her cell-phone in a ditch, built a fire pit, and started burning Paul while his fiancée was out shopping. The documents said both the man and his fiancée tended to the fire that night, and he allegedly burned the body again the next day. The media stories did not indicate whether the fiancée knew Paul was in the house.
Two men from southeast Wisconsin were killed in a plane crash in northern Missouri near Kirksville. 66-year-old James Quinn of Wauwatosa and 64-year-old Robert Groh of Pewaukee were identified yesterday as the victims. K-T-V-O T-V in Missouri said their small aircraft went down Tuesday night in a rural area about three miles southeast of Kirksville. Authorities said the wreckage was scattered along a 300-yard path along a pasture, a bean field, and a wooded area -- and it was dark-and-rainy at the time. Groh was the owner and president of Geo-Synthetics of Waukesha. The T-V station said he was flying back from a meeting with a customer in Colorado when the crash occurred. The F-A-A said the plane had intended to land at Kirksville, and controllers lost radar and radio contact with the craft about five miles from the airport. Federal investigators are looking into the mishap.